Topic: Tests & Procedures
INFORMATION ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF LIQUID NITROGEN THERAPY FOR WARTS
This handout was written to answer some of the questions most often asked about the liquid nitrogen treatment of warts.
WHAT ARE WARTS?
Warts are a skin infection caused by a virus. They are most commonly spread by skin-to-skin contact from another person who carries the virus.
DO WARTS NEED TO BE TREATED?
About two thirds of warts will resolve on their own without treatment within two years. However, without treatment, warts may also spread to other areas of your child’s body, especially if they are picked at or scratched. In addition, individuals who have close contact with a child with warts may also develop warts.
HOW CAN WARTS BE TREATED?
There are many different methods of treating warts. The two most common ways are by using topical therapy (such as Compound W® or mediplast) or by freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen.
WHAT IS LIQUID NITROGEN?
Liquid nitrogen is a medication that is very cold and freezes the wart. It works by destroying the outer layer of the skin where the wart virus lives. Repeated treatments, approximately every three to four weeks, are usually needed.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF LIQUID NITROGEN?
Liquid nitrogen causes an immediate stinging or burning sensation when it contacts the skin. The initial pain lasts only a few minutes, however, the children may have mild pain on and off for about 24 hours. Pain can be lessened by giving Tylenol® before or immediately after the procedure. Additional side effects that may occur after the therapy include:
• Blistering – including blood blisters. If blisters occur, avoid breaking the blister if possible. If the blister breaks, keep the area covered with antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid® until the skin heals.
• Infection – keep the area clean. If any open areas develop, cover the area with antibiotic ointment and a Band-Aid® until healed.
• Changes in pigmentation – may be temporary or permanent.
• Scarring may occur occasionally.
Call your child’s doctor if there is swelling, redness, drainage or persistent pain from the area.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO USE THE TOPICAL THERAPY?
Topical therapy may be used in combination with liquid nitrogen therapy or as the only treatment for warts. If liquid nitrogen therapy has been used, make sure that the area is healed (no open sores) before starting the therapy. The following steps should be used:
1. Soak the wart for five minutes.
2. Rub off thickened skin with a disposable emery board.
3. Apply topical medicine over night. Your doctor may also instruct you to cover the area with a Band-Aid® and wash the medicine off the following morning.
It is very important to continue the topical therapy until one week after the wart appears to be gone.
This handout was written for general information only and should not be considered complete. For more information about warts, ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).
La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 2000, 2004
The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.
Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.
Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 2000, 2004
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